Anyone who leads from the inside of a bubble or echo chamber cannot be effective. Confident leaders are comfortable with healthy debate and differing viewpoints that can close both knowledge and perspective gaps. They seek information not to simply confirm their own genius but to make the best informed decision for the company.
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In early 2016, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston made some very unpopular cost-saving decisions that affected the company’s enviable employee perks, such as cancelling its free shuttle in San Francisco and laundry washing service in the company gym. However, Houston was aware of the pushback and asked, in a company-wide email, for his employees to think about ways the company could save and share, using an email address created for the purpose.
How did you do? If you scored…
4: Congrats, you're a Natural-Born Leader. If you’re not running your own team or company already, you will be. In the meantime, focus on reading more books for lifelong learning.
3: You’ve got the majority of leadership qualities down. Now that you understand better what area you need to work on, reach out to a mentor who has the skills to cultivate you in that area and start reading a leadership book on the topic.
1 or 2: Hey, don’t be discouraged. Leadership is a multidisciplinary quality that can be cultivated through effort and time. Ask yourself what your version of leadership success would look like in metrics. Is it a certain number of sales per quarter? A decrease in employee churn by half? Once you have clear goal posts, you can decode the steps to reach them.